“Take care of the elderly in your neighbourhoods!” Those were the words that were left ringing in community members’ heads in the Moletsane and Tladi areas of Soweto on Tuesday.
This is after MEC for Social Development Comrade Nandi Mayathula-Khoza visited the homes of two older persons who died due to neglect. Gogo Mmamojalefa Tshefane (86) and Ntate Bheki Maloka (61), were both neglected to death, left in their homes sick, alone and without care. Where possible criminal charges of neglect will be laid and the perpetrators of these heinous acts will be brought to book.
The ANC-led government in Gauteng has begun a program urging all communities in the province to “Adopt a Gogo/Mkhulu” and take care of the elderly, as they are a source of wisdom and guidance.
In the story of the two elderly people from Soweto who have passed on, the ANC branch in the area was instrumental in bringing the matters to the attention of authorities who could then act on them. Comrade Mike Sechabela is the branch secretary in the area and said the people of Tladi/Moletsane work very well with the ANC. “We were informed of both situations while on a door-to- door with NEC member Comrade Dipuo Peters and we called the ambulance to come take Ntate Maloka.
We are keeping in touch with the community and are going house to house to always be ready and able to respond if incidents like these come about.”
Members of the community were urged to report any abuse of the elderly to the Social Development Department and to form clubs where the elderly will receive care and exercise. Comrade Mayathula-Khoza reminded members of the community that it is against the law to leave older people unattended and neglected.
“We, as government, will do all that is necessary to ensure that anyone who is found to have been responsible in any way in the abuse of the two senior citizens faces the full might of the law. Where cases have been open, we will make follow ups, where there are none we will assist with the process so that justice is done.”